ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY

Jamaica 2019 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

2019 promises to be an exciting year for Guardian Life Limited, with its 20th anniversary in the country and a major real estate project set to launch.

Eric Hosin
BIOGRAPHY
Born in Kingston, Eric Hosin holds a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Technology and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. In the industry for more than 25 years, he has been President of Guardian Life Limited since 2010. President of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean and the Insurance Association of Jamaica, he is a Deacon and Board Member of the Church of the Open Bible where he chairs the evangelism and finance committees.

What have been the main accomplishments for the group in 2018?

We have been able to develop our product and company and grow as a business in terms of profitability as we approach our 20th year of doing business in Jamaica. We were also able to introduce a new payment method for one of our lines of business using recurring credit card payments. Moreover, we have been engaging with several technology companies as we look at improving our policy administration system. We have also gone into real estate development and are currently completing our first such project, a seven-story housing complex that we expect to complete in 1Q2019. At that time, we will hand over the upscale development of 66 apartment units to their new owners; all the units were sold in a week. We will undertake a second construction project to develop a 175-unit complex in early 2019.

How are you expanding your operations in the country?

We are looking to develop not only real estate, but also the country's commercial stock as we grow our business from an investment standpoint. We do not just build and hold; we build and sell so that individuals can purchase and own something of their own. We are also looking to grow our market share in the individual and group life portfolios of our business.

How do you maximize awareness of your products and services?

In addition to engaging traditional advertising campaigns, we also engage our various target segments through social media. We work tirelessly to maintain a strong distribution network, which includes insurance advisors that are employed by the company and brokerage houses that are located across the island and share the features and benefits of our products and services with the public. In addition, we promote our products, particularly health insurance and group products, by providing mobile medical services across the length and breadth of Jamaica, using a highly visible, branded medical unit. The mobile medical unit has been visiting communities and improving public health through routine medical checks. Another major initiative is hosting one of the largest and most successful 5-km night runs in Kingston and Montego Bay. Our Montego Bay race grew by about 30% in 2017, and all the income from it goes to four major public hospitals to purchase medical equipment. Through our runs, we also partner with many charities to help them raise money and increase the number of participants in the races.

How do you see the economy evolving?

Business confidence is growing, and the responsible government agencies have been working at meeting the required inflation targets and other economic indicators, which bodes well for the economy. The stock market is doing well, which demonstrates investor confidence in the economy. The junior stock exchange is a great place to raise capital, especially for family-owned companies. Between stock market growth and the boom in the economy, sectors such as tourism are doing well. We are confident about the future of our country and that the sacrifices made in the past to debt exchange are finally paying off.
What are your goals for 2019?
One of the biggest targets for us in 2019 will be getting our major real estate project off the ground, which will have a great impact on the skyline of New Kingston. 2019 promises to be exciting, as the growth of the economy continues to lift all boats.